How does Spirituality Affect the Overall Quality of Life?

mental health

Pargament defined spirituality in 1997 as the “search for the sacred.” According to Pargament, we can relate to anything that we perceive as spiritual. Even profane objects can be sanctified, that is given a spiritual meaning to it.

Pargament and Mahoney define the process of sanctification as “the perception of an object as having spiritual significance and character.” For instance, the water that we drink gains a different type of meaning and importance when used for baptism.

Hence, the outlook changes when an object is given a sacred or spiritual label. People become more respectful, protective, and caring.

Spirituality is not only limited to the belief in God. It is found in the meditation, one’s intuitive beliefs, having religious views of animals and the environment (which is advocated by Vegan movements).

Spirituality has been found to have a direct relationship to well-being. It has been proven that the more spiritual a person, the happier they are, and the happier they are life satisfaction is higher. Studies conclude that spiritual involvement is more among the elderly.

Interestingly for children and adolescents, spiritual commitment helps with less delinquency, less alcohol, and drug abuse, and a lower incidence of early and hazardous sexual activity. 

Spirituality allows people to make healthier choices. Since the underlying factor of being spiritual is to sanctify an object and be protective and caring towards it. It brings an indirect health benefit if people consecrate their own body.

Once people put a spiritual label to their own body, they become far more respectable towards it. They avoid any unhealthy practices like smoking, drinking, or committing a crime.

Spirituality and well being

According to the Handbook of Religion and Health by Koening, McCullough, and Larson, there is a positive relationship between religious and spiritual involvement and health outcomes.

Spirituality is a strong force that helps with combatting against depression, anxiety, delinquency, suicide, and even marital instability and conflict.

A study conducted reported that married couples who had sanctified or had given a spiritual meaning to their marriage, experience lesser marital conflict. They have greater marital satisfaction and more effective marital problem-solving abilities. Not just matrimonial relationships, it applies to any relationship.

Even in parental relationships, parents who sanctify the role of parenting were able to discipline their children better.

Along with mental health, it also preserves physical health as well. More the spiritual commitment and belief, lesser adverse the tangible outcomes like heart disease, cancer, and hypertension will be. It has also been able to foster increased longevity.

Spiritual connectivity and commitment have uplifted employees in the workplace. It helps individuals to perceive the organization as a spiritual path, and as an opportunity to grow and contribute to society in a meaningful manner. It’s not just about being productive in the job front, but also being sincere and respectful to one and others. 

Spirituality in the workplace can be enhanced through:

  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Bereavement Programs
  • Servant leadership (desire to serve others before oneself)
  • Stewardship (assist individuals in achieving their growth and actualizing)
  • Diversity Programs (inclusive of every culture)

Documented in Dr. Steven Southwick’s book ‘Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges,’ spirituality has played an enormous role among PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) patients (suffering from traumatic experiences like sexual assault, rape, war).

Various studies have proven that spirituality helps with controlling stress as well as stress-related disorders. Spiritual people have reported showing better health, less depression, less hypertension, resilient, and more significant psychological as well as physiological well-being.

Spirituality is a very subjective experience. One needs to have a strong belief in it for it to work. Whether this article inspires its readers or it reinforces one’s already established commitment or acts as a ‘food-for-thought,.’ It is just a collection of proofs that different studies have validated and concluded.